When I first heard of the concept behind My Name Is Earl, I though it had the potential to be funny, but it also could turn out like The Mullets, Instead of the big long hair there would be a bushy mustache. Luckily I have it a chance because it turned out to be even better that I could have hoped. The show itself is almost the antithesis of Arrested Development. Where the Bluth’s were complex people with complex problems, Earl and his crew were just simple folk with simple problems. The writers of Arrested Development would go out of the way just to set up a joke, Earl’s staff just go with the easiest ones. And of course Earl is a rags to riches story and the Bluth’s on the other hand lost all of theirs.
But the key to the show is Earl’s list. After years of being a petty criminal, he wins the lottery only to promptly get hit by a car. While in the hospital Earl learns a lesson about karma form Carson Daly of all people and makes a list of wrongs he’s done in his life that he need to make right. And being a reformed criminal, there is plenty to atone for, but with the help of his brother Randy and the maid at the hotel he stays at, Catalina, Earl has been able to cross a few off his list so far. This is no thanks to his ex-wife Joy who routinely stands in his way, or generally mocks him along the way, unless of curse it’s something that helps her.
Some of my favorite bad deeds Earl has crossed of his list include when he faked his own death to get out of a relationship, ruined Joy’s wedding, and the Y2K episode where he stole the ticket thing. Earl even solved one of Lost’s mysteries when he answered the question of where’s Walt and he also kidnapped the special kid. You can check out his list on the My Name Is Earl website although it is not the complete list and inaccurate. Number one on the list should be stole money from dude at a convenient store. Then there are the things on the list that Earl hasn’t gotten around to like how he keeps putting of crossing the one-legged woman off his list. Maybe next year.
My Name Is Earl 1.x gets a on my Terror Alert Scale. It also won three STA's.